Preserving Kaua‘i’s Shearwaters
I mŠl ama a I hoÔ opakele. I na manu Ô aukai o KauaÔ i. To save and protect KauaÔ i seabirds.
From September through December, Kaua‘i’s precious
seabirds journey from their burrows in the island’s interior
mountains to the vegetation of the coastal beaches. The local
Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrels are amongst the
treasured species that navigate by moonlight on a nocturnal
passage. The St. Regis Princeville Resort has implemented
a seabird conservation program to ensure a safe journey
as many young birds
attempt their first flight
over the island.
and petrel are pelagic
birds endemic to the
Hawaiian Islands. The
Newell’s Shearwater, or
‘A‘o, is a small seabird
recognized by its dark
brown, almost black,
upper body and a white
underbelly. Known to fly
low, skimming over the
ocean, the birds gather
in mixed flocks around
schools of tuna and
forage on the smaller
species of fish driven
to the surface. The
Hawaiian Petrel, or ‘Ua‘u, is larger than the shearwater and
a dark, grayish-black color with almost entirely white underparts. Hawaiian Petrels are noted for their erratic, high-arching and swooping behavior and distinctive low-pitch
call, reflective of its Hawaiian name.
The urbanization on Kaua‘i has resulted in the ongoing
fallout of fledgling seabirds on their first nocturnal flight
from their nesting burrows to the ocean. Young seabirds
when traveling by night can become disoriented by
unshielded light. They become fatigued and land on the
ground, where it is difficult, for the birds to take off again.
This fallout of shearwater and petrel fledglings has become
of utmost concern and importance to the staff ‘ohana at The
St. Regis Princeville.